Glossary of Terms (U-Z)

A-D  |  E-H  |  I-L  |  M-P  |  Q-T  |  U-Z


Urban Forests
Cultivated "green belts" within towns and cities.

Urban (metropolitan) runoff

Runoff derived from urban or suburban land-use that is distinguished from agricultural or industrial runoff sources.

USDA Organic Seal

Found on products that are at least 95% organic, but the use of the seal is optional.

Ultraviolet B (UVB):

A type of sunlight. The ozone in the stratosphere filters out ultraviolet B rays and keeps them from reaching the Earth. Thinning of the ozone layer in the stratosphere results in increased amounts of ultraviolet B reaching the Earth. Ultraviolet B exposure has been associated with skin cancer, eye cataracts, and damage to the environment.



Contributing your skills, experience or labour to a cause in need as an unpaid helper.

A new-age style of traveling that involves volunteering with a community or conservation initiative.

Volunteer Travel
A new-age style of traveling that involves volunteering with a community or conservation initiative.

Someone who does not eat meat.

Someone who does not eat meat or any animal products.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs):

Organic chemicals all contain the element carbon (C). Organic chemicals are the basic chemicals found in living things and in products derived from living things, such as coal, petroleum, and refined petroleum products. Many of the organic chemicals we use do not occur in nature, but were synthesized by chemists in laboratories. Volatile chemicals readily produce vapors at room temperature and normal atmospheric pressure. Vapors escape easily from volatile liquid chemicals. Volatile organic chemicals include gasoline, industrial chemicals



Surplus, trash or sewage generated by everyday living.

Wind Power
Energy produced by harnessing the force of wind through windmills or turbines. Converting wind into energy through wind turbines.  to learn more about renewable energy).

Wave Energy
The energy generated by the waves of the ocean.

White Roofing Project
Roofing designed to mimic the ice caps in reflecting the sun's rays to reduce global warming.

Wildland Fire:

One of nature’s oldest phenomena. Evidence of free-burning fires has been found in petrified wood and coal deposits formed about 350 million years ago in the Paleozoic Era. Wildland fire is any fire burning in wildlands, including wildfires and all prescribed fires.

Wildfire: A fire that is out of control and generally viewed as undesirable by land managers who work to put out or suppress it.

Water (hydrologic) cycle

The flow and distribution of water from the sky, to the Earth's surface, through various routes on or in the Earth, and back to the atmosphere. The main components are precipitation, infiltration, surface runoff, channel and depression storage, and groundwater.


The land area, or catchment, that contributes water to a specific water body. All the rain or snow that falls within this area flows to the water bodies as surface runoff, in tributary streams, or as groundwater.



The irrational fear of people from another culture.


Youth Development
Teaching and improving young people through long-term projects.


Zero Waste
The ideal of reducing your waste to the point where you are able to use everything.

Zero Carbon
The ideal of not producing any CO2 through your activities or daily life.

Zero Emissions
The ideal of eliminating all CO2 production through your vehicles.

A-D  |  E-H  |  I-L  |  M-P  |  Q-T  |  U-Z

Web presence created with sweetness from jf